Wilted Kale & Kabocha Squash Salad

Written by chanie on January 12th, 2015

Kabocha squash seems to have gained popularity in recent years. When I was growing up, no-one ever seemed to know what it was. Maybe that’s because my mom always called it kaboochie squash! She’s not usually ahead of the trend, but she’s been making it ever since I can remember.

Kabocha is a winter squash that’s grown primarily in Japan. It’s often referred to as Japanese pumpkin. It’s not the prettiest looking thing, and it’s one of the hardest squashes to cut, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Kabocha squash is sweeter than traditional pumpkin, with a creamy texture similar to sweet potato. My mom always roasted it with brown sugar, my favorite, but it’s also wonderful braised with savory Asian flavors like soy sauce and ginger.  To make kabocha squash easier to tackle, I like to look for small ones that I can break open with one swing of my chef’s knife. The best part about it is that it’s got an edible peel, so there’s no need to start fussing with the knobby skin.

For this winter kale salad, I decided to roast the kabocha squash with maple syrup and pair it with seasonal pears and pecans. I’m not a fan of raw kale, so I wilt it down a bit to make it easier to eat. If you don’t find raw kale to be tough, you can go ahead and skip this step.

Related Recipes:

kale persimmon salad

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6 Comments so far ↓

  1. What a great salad. I love the fall flavors from the squash, maple syrup and pear

  2. Chaya says:

    Kabocha is my favorite squash. I discovered it about a year ago and it is now my go to squash. This recipe looks like a great way to use it. thanks for sharing.

  3. Gorgeous pics! Kale is not my favorite green, but I can see how this is really delicious with the kabocha squash and the pecans.

    • chanie says:

      Thanks Sarah! I must tell you that I wasn’t a fan of kale until recently. I found it to be bitter and tough. But when I started to wilt it down, I really started loving it. You must try it!

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